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Out There :: Winter Books Quiz

by Roberto Friedman
Saturday Feb 15, 2014
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To the disappointment of both big-house publishers and self-published authors everywhere, Out There can’t guarantee that all review copies sent our way will eventually get reviewed.

But here’s a fun game we can play with some of the books that pass our desk. See if you can match the excerpt (A. to K.) with the book (1. to 11.) Answers are at the bottom of the article, but don’t look, because that would be cheating, and as we all know, cheaters only cheat themselves.

The Excerpts:

A. "One of the disadvantages of being so frank about one’s queerness is that everybody expects you to leer at attractive boys, so you try not to, out of perversity. There was one in the front row. He sprawled right back, wearing almost nonexistent shorts, with his legs naked to the crotch and wide apart. Whenever he asked a question, I had to keep my eyes high by a conscious effort of will."

B. "The incorrupt corpses are undoubtedly a big tourist attraction for churches and monasteries around the world. But it may not always be such a positive experience for the tourists. I know I’d be upset if I saw an incorrupt dead body and it was looking healthier and more attractive than me. For example, in 2000 when Blessed Pope Pius IX was dug up 122 years after he died, he was said to be in great shape and still smiling. Apparently death just agrees with some people."

C. "I tried frantically to lose weight, to fix myself quickly so I could keep my job. I tried not eating at all but couldn’t maintain it. I worked out at the gym and ran in Central Park until I couldn’t walk the next day. I thought about taking up smoking so that I would have something else to do with my mouth besides eat, but I hated cigarette smoke. I considered drugs; didn’t people on cocaine get really skinny? But I didn’t know how to buy drugs or know anyone I felt comfortable asking about it."

D. "Old queen in the locker room: ’When you’re the prettiest one in the steam room, it’s time to go home.’"

E. "While some feng shui teaching is sensible (throw out dead plants, toss an ex-boyfriend’s photograph), I wasn’t persuaded by its more doctrinal suggestions. But I understand the appeal of feng shui. Like Manichaeism, karma, and the Law of Attraction - true or not, it feels true."

F. "Restraints made with chap leather are soft, comfortable, and luxurious, but have a degree of stretch and are not very durable. Latigo and vegetable-tanned leather are harder and not as flexible, but produce a sturdier product. If the restraints will be under any amount of stress, I suggest using these."

G. "The biggest but also subtlest clue was the intaglio ring depicting the classical scene of Leda being raped by a swan he wore on the little finger of his left hand. The myth of Leda acquired something of a cult among many writers and artists of the fin de siecle era, a symbol of forbidden desire and taboo practices that some homosexual dandies displayed as a sign that they existed outside the sexual mainstream."

H. "The first show as a trio was at the Rex Club in Paris, a 250-capacity basement club, a bit of a dive. We arrived, walked into the back area, and came face to face with our catering, which consisted of a mound of white rice, maybe twelve by eighteen inches, with cockroaches running all over it. This was not the fine Parisian dining experience I’d had in mind."

I. "Iris dropped the stick and the piece of lizard and said, ’My mother taught me how to survive in this world. My mother said that each of us is like an M&M in a blender full of ice cream. We all try to avoid getting chopped up. We do most anything to avoid getting sliced, but in the end most of us get the chop and become nothing more than a part of the milkshake.’"

J. "Hollywood - the fringe world beyond the movie lots.

"Hollywood: Sex and religion and cops and nymphos and cults and sex and religion and junk - and sex and sects and flowers and junk and religion - fairies and nymphos and sick, sick cops - and sex."

K. "Our secret love has been discovered. You run one way and I’ll flee the other. My love is mine, and I’m his from afar. I’ll go with him even if he sells me in the bazaar."

The Books:

1. The Tastemaker - Carl Van Vechten and the Birth of Modern America by Edward White (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

2. Happier at Home - Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin (Three Rivers Press)

3. The Artisan’s Book of Fetishcraft by John Huxley (Greenery Press)

4. Liberation - Diaries 1970-1983 by Christopher Isherwood, edited and introduced by Katherine Bucknell, preface by Edmund White (Harper Perennial, paperback)

5. City of Night by John Rechy - 50th Anniversary Edition (Grove Atlantic)

6. Papal Bull - An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church by Dr. Joe Wenke (Trans Uber)

7. I Am the Beggar of the World - Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan translated by Eliza Griswold, photographs by Seamus Murphy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

8. The Tooth Fairy - Parents, Lovers, and Other Wayward Deities (A Memoir) by Clifford Chase (Overlook)

9. The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin (Harper Perennial)

10. Dancing Through It - My Journey in the Ballet by Jenifer Ringer, principal dancer, New York City Ballet (Viking)

11. See a Little Light - The Trail of Rage and Melody by Bob Mould with Michael Azerrad (Cleis)

Note: The books included in this little divertissement are not necessarily exempt from future coverage. We just enjoy offering samples from them.


Answers: A: 4; B: 6; C: 10; D: 8; E: 2; F: 3; G: 1; H: 11; I: 9; J: 5; K: 7

Copyright Bay Area Reporter. For more articles from San Francisco's largest GLBT newspaper, visit www.ebar.com

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